Exhibition - Ellen Chuse: The Great Mystery

Sunday, Jan 24, 2021 at 11:00am

440 Gallery
440 Sixth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215

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440 Gallery is pleased to present The Great Mystery, new work by Ellen Chuse. For this exhibition, Chuse made acrylic paintings on paper that explore totemic female figures, particularly Venus and Athena. These generously sized, unframed, bold compositions resonate with female energies of fertility, abundance, and strength. 

Chuse says, “In our current moment, women are feeling their power in all areas of life. While there is great turmoil, change is in the air. For this reason, it seems the perfect time to delve into the mystery of ancient symbols of womanhood- totems that reflect our power and strength.”

Since prehistoric times, women have held spiritual power - especially through the primally creative process of birth. In her new work, Chuse identifies Venus not only as a goddess of beauty, but she also looks to ancient times where Venus was primarily a fertility figure. These are powerful abstract paintings that engage the viewer on many levels. Exploring the emotional resonance of color is as important to the artist as the images she employs. In one piece, Athena, the warrior goddess, takes center stage. This work projects both forceful strength and watchful protectiveness in contrast to the Venus series, which explores a calmer, more interior emotional space.

These female totems project a level of symbolism that need not be identified to engage with; ultimately, each painting is a journey into the emotional relationship of color and form. In that sense, viewers familiar with Chuse’s work will see these pieces as another graceful progression in her powerful oeuvre.

This exhibition marks Ellen Chuse’s seventh solo show at 440 Gallery. A long time member of the Brooklyn artist community, she holds a BFA in Sculpture from the Philadelphia College of Art and received her MFA in Fine Arts from Queens College, CUNY. In 1972 she was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to Italy in Sculpture and spent over a year in Florence. During the 1970s, she exhibited her sculptures in various galleries in New York, New Jersey, and Rome. She transitioned to 2D work in the 1980s and has since participated in numerous group exhibitions in New York City, including the Kentler International Drawing Space in Brooklyn and the Art on Paper Fair and Gallery MC in Manhattan. Ellen has shown regularly at 440 Gallery and has participated in the annual Gowanus Artists Studio Tour since 2000. 

Project Space: Bendheim, Flanery, Greenstein

Exhibition Date: January 6, 2021 - February 7, 2021 

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